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April 23, 2014

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Spain close enclave border to avert migrant push

Updated Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 | 2:03 a.m.

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish official says police closed a border crossing between the north African enclave of Melilla and Morocco after Moroccan authorities warned that a large group of migrants were going to try to push across.

A Melilla Interior Ministry office spokesman said Friday the crossing was closed for several hours Thursday until Moroccan forces dispersed the group.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with ministry regulations, said he had no details on the migrants' nationalities.

Melilla is surrounded by Morocco and the Mediterranean Sea. Migrants seeking to get to Europe camp on the Moroccan side, with several thousand trying each year to enter Melilla, and Spain's other costal enclave of Ceuta.

The ministry says at least 11 migrants drowned while trying to enter Ceuta last week.